Blog Post 8

This week I explored the readings and got very nervous about algorithms and their place in my life.

“algorithms already have control of your money market funds, your stocks, and your retirement accounts. They’ll soon decide who you talk to on phone calls; they will control the music that reaches your radio; they will decide your chances of getting lifesaving organs transplant; and for millions of people, algorithms will make perhaps the largest decision of in their life: choosing a spouse.” (Kitchin)

A chill runs down my spine reading this. So I did some independent research/reassurance that I shouldn’t be scared. Just so I could sleep at night. I found Amy Webbs TedTalk. Suddenly I felt comforted in a new way. I’m a low key true crime fan and love to read about horrible stories of people being betrayed by their loved ones. Needless to say, it has turned me off dating. But what if there was a dating website that used algorithms? What if there was an algorithm that said “Hey there! I did some digging in around in your social media, your internet searches and other activity that happens on apps (like your fab Pinterest boards). Sorry if that creeps you out but we all do that. Anyway, I found x number of men with similar interests! I dug around on their social media and internet activity and guess what? They aren’t psycho killers, have decent credit, non-creepy friends, a good relationship with their family, a steady job, no criminal history or any other terrifying surprises! They are also looking for a relationship. Would you have any interest in meeting them?” As a woman living in a world that feels increasingly threatening, that sounds freaking amazing.

I was failed by Youtube a lot this week. I have also still not managed to get IFTTT for Pinterest to work quite right either. A part of me wants to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. But a louder part of me says that I have a lot of work to do and I will fix it in a magical time called “later” (insert sparkles) also fondly referred to as “when I get a minute.” So I move on and get my work done because it needs to get done. This is a perfect example of an algorithm not working out, my solution thus far is to “just do it myself.” How often does something like this happen, when an algorithm doesn’t work and we just decided to get it done on our own? How often do we decide that its just too much trouble?

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